Playin’ with Ice and Fire: A Game of Thoughts | Sansa Chapter 29

She’s new, she’s the re-re-reader.  She’s the newbie, she’s the spoilery vet.  Together they’re rereading George R.R. Martin’s A Game of Thrones and getting their POV on.  Next up they react to Chapter 29: Sansa.

If you got her and want to start at the beginning, go catch the start of this Game of Thrones reread and enjoy the full ride!

Elena-

Minor housekeeping thing first: this was the last chapter that I read before the HBO series caught up with me. I mention this because I believe it would be disingenuous of me not to acknowledge it, but I also want to say up front that I’m planning not to spend my reaction time here comparing what I’ve read to the show or harping on what I know is going to come. Compartmentalization, baby. Also, the show is two-thirds down now, and I am still poking at the ass-end of the first third of the book. I intend to do as much forgetting of the show once it’s over as I have the chapters I was reading last fall, that you all are so kind as to remind me “no that detail WAS mentioned down in the crypt” about. So that’s all.

Now let’s talk about Sansa.

I am still on the fence about Sansa in terms of my emotional engagement with her. I still don’t dislike her, but my sense of not being able to relate to her has increased tenfold.

This chapter doesn’t start so bad with me and Sansa. I loved her “gold-colored glasses,” so to speak, riding to the tourney behind her silk curtains and seeing only the parts of the world that fit into her narrative—the parts that are the stories come to life, that are “better than the stories.”  I mean, I may not do that, but it was at least pretty to see the world that way for a bit.

The opening scenes of the tourney were so innocent…Sansa and Jeyne being pre-teen girls, paying attention to “the knights themselves, the knights most of all,” giggling over the hot men in the tournament and laughing at the ones who seem weird or pretentious. This reminded me very much of myself and my besties when we were 12, 13 years old—about the age we got interested in boys and started checking out of Chateau du Tomboi.

I find it a little sad how much these girls only see the glamour of the tournament and the famous knights—“younger men, most had done no great deeds as yet but Sansa and Jeyne agreed that one day the Seven Kingdoms would resound to the sound of their names” without realizing that heroes are only forged during war. It underscores how young and innocent they are, how much they do see the world through that hazy silk.

There is also a very strong sense here of how much Sansa values beautiful things, how she describes them and what she remembers being said to her. This point is actually kind of hammered home ad nauseum:

  • “Sansa was dressed beautifully that day, in a green gown that brought out the auburn in her hair”
  • “the king’s brother, handsome Lord Renly of Storm’s End” / “the commons cheered wildly, for King Robert’s handsome brother was a great favorite”
  • “Jory looks like a beggar among these others”
  • RE Ser Loras “Sansa had never seen anyone so beautiful” (Side note: isn’t this what she thinks about Renly the first time she sees him?)
  • “Your mother was my queen of beauty once”
  • “She could not hate Joffrey tonight. He was too beautiful to hate.”
  • “She was…giddy with glamour, swept away by beauties she had dreamt of all her life and never dared hope to know”
  • “Ser Loras has a keen eye for beauty, sweet lady”
  • “Pretty little talking bird”

Almost everything she describes is filtered through her “it is beautiful and therefore good or it is ugly and therefore bad” view on the world. Pretty little talking bird, indeed—don’t you know the world’s not like that?

But of course she doesn’t. Sansa has been raised to acknowledge only the beautiful, and she is such a good daughter to parents who didn’t want her to see more that she has no idea. I find it interesting that Ned felt it necessary to show his 8-year-old son, who would likely never be Lord Stark, an execution, but not his daughter who would presumably be to some lord, somewhere, what Catelyn is to him—and he leaves Catelyn in charge as his regent when he leaves. Even if he wouldn’t expect her to perform the King’s Justice, surely he’d expect her to watch it done, so why was that side of the world and life in the North not forced before Sansa’s eyes?

Not that it necessarily would have helped, and here we come to my real problem in relating to Sansa:  she is so busy rewriting the world according to her script that she literally does not allow herself to feel her emotions when they threaten her story. Personally? I’m with Jeyne Poole on this one. When that young knight gets speared through the throat, Sansa sits there refusing to feel horror or disgust or sadness, while Jeyne is all, “holy shit some dude I was just ogling just got speared through the throat and died in a gurgling pool of his own blood, this is NOT like the songs I always heard, fuck this, y’all, I’m out.” I can totally sympathize with that. Sansa, on the other hand, is all “in the story the lady can watch this with no emotion, and I am a lady, therefore I will have no emotion.” It’s an intentional sterilization of the world…it makes it all less than real to her.

And that bothers me. I don’t relate to that point of view, at all. For a couple reasons. First, because I don’t like trying to look at reality as something besides what it is, and second because I have never wanted to shut off my emotions. Maybe they’re messy and unladylike, but they’re real. Maybe this is at the heart of why one of my life mottos is “I’m no lady.” The very word has connotations, some of which I might embody but most of which I reject. Sansa? She’s all in. And it’s why I can’t relate to her. I dig her forcing herself to watch it—after all, what else are horror movies or war movies or, hell, even a series like this one?—but she is so dispassionate about it. “Oh, a man just died in front of me. Oh, there’s that creepy guy who used to be in love with my mother. Oh, look, a butterfly.”

I do want to commend her for not being a hypocrite here and crying when she doesn’t care—at least she acknowledges that if it were Jory or her father, she’d cry.  She thinks.  But the fact that she doesn’t even feel horror or sadness until she realizes no one will remember his name in a year is…well. It’s either what I’m assuming, and a very deep suppression of what she actually felt, or she is fucking frigid. I know, I know, she just lost her pet and her fiancé hates her and she feels so alone and put-upon so why should she care about some guy she didn’t even know dying in front of her…but the fact that she didn’t just seemed weird to me.  CAUSE SOME GUY JUST DIED RIGHT IN FRONT OF HER.

Going back to the “I must be a lady at all costs” thing, two pieces. First, just wanted to note that it’s why she finds Robert’s behavior shocking—being drunk and enraged is so improper, so lese majesete. Second, is Sansa misunderstanding what her mother and her septa were trying to teach her? It seems to me that Catelyn’s redeeming quality is that she loves her family—however poorly I consider her actions, she does care. Did she really want to raise a daughter who does not care? Or was that how she saw her daughter surviving in the North, by teaching her not to feel things? I know I’m harping on this…it just really bothered me. I think because what I see as strength is feeling it, but standing there anyway, and what Sansa’s doing is running away, in a sense. Away from the feelings since she can’t run from the situation.

Okay, let’s move on to Joffrey. First, how telling is it that Sansa will only refer to what happened in the woods in vague terms, “the awful thing,” and that she uses passive tense to avoid ascribing blame where it is due, “since the awful thing had happened” not, you know, since Prince Joffrey did that awful thing, or since Prince Joffrey told that awful lie, or since Sansa told that awful lie. In her mind she separates it, blames the queen because she cannot figure out a way not to blame Cersei, and her sister, because either Joffrey or Arya had to be at fault and Sansa clearly won’t blame Joffrey. Will this continued family disloyalty earn her another punishment?

Also, what happened to change Joffrey’s mind about Sansa? What was said to him, or what did he realize about the future, that made him start treating her with the respect due to a lady and his fiancée? Without Tyrion around, who actually gave him a kick in the ass—his mother, who he is obviously close to since he immediately followed her upon her exit? Not sure he’d have listened to anyone else, not sure he’s smart enough himself to realize the smallest effort on his part would yield exponential returns later.

A few random wonderings on other characters.

  • The bastard Martyn Rivers – I guess that’s the (or a) southern bastard name the way Snow is up north? It’s cute, it’s catchy.
  • Had Sansa met Lord Yohn Royce when he guested at Winterfell two years before because he was on his way to take Waymar to the Wall, perhaps?
  • Barristan Selmy = straight badass for taking down men thirty and forty years his junior.
  • How young was Ser Loras last tourney if he’s only 16 now? You know, the one where he beat Kingslayer? Even more impressive.
  • Petyr’s words to her came off half-creepy and half-sad. He’s like staring at her with the crazy Gollum eyes, “yes, my precious,” stroking her hair and shit. But the elegant simplicity of his compliment is kind of charmingly sad, “your mother was my queen of beauty once. You have her hair.”
  • Robert’s bullying of Jaime Lannister—“The great knight. I can still knock you in the dirt. Remember that, Kingslayer.” What an asshole.

Okay, now back to Sansa for the second part of this chapter.

First, how much does she calculate what she does? When she angles for Joffrey to take her home, certainly…but what about when she starts to cry before the Hound? Was that to make him stop, or was it genuine? I honestly could not tell.

Martin’s line about “the feast was over, and the beautiful dream had ended with it” is a perfect summation of my feelings every Sansa chapter. There is just this sense of lurking dread hanging over her chapters for me, that sooner or later she’s gonna have to wake up from her daydreams cause you know shit is about to come down on her head. Every fucking time we go in her head I feel that. Can’t she just hit rock bottom and have to rebuild her worldview already?

Another iteration of this, she is proud of herself for her words to the Hound about his brother, because “it was no lie”—no, I think she only lies to herself. No doubt she believes she didn’t really see what happened down by the river at this point.

I love the Hound’s description of her. “Some septa trained you well. You’re like one of those birds from the Summer Isles…a pretty little talking bird repeating all the pretty little words they taught you to recite.” Yes.

The Hound’s story was pretty horrible. Yet another demonstration of how being a knight sometimes has very little to do with being honorable. This makes his words about Gregor’s lance not slipping up by accident ring true.

With Sansa we feel sad for the Hound–especially since in her mind it’s so easy to forget or simply not care that he killed Micah for fun–and it is a small triumph that she can make us a little proud of her by trying to comfort him there at the end. “He was no true knight.” No. But neither is the Hound. I do believe he means what he says.

Poor little talking bird. No one ever told her how to deal with ugly secrets.

–Readers, if leaving a comment for Elena please direct (@Elena) them at her – and lead your comments with your messages for her.  Please do not direct spoilers at her. Thanks!

–Don’t forget to check out the imperial Boomtron Podcast Elena and Rachel, the Ladies of Ice and Fire, host every week, dissecting each episode of Game of Thrones on HBO!

–Do not read on if you have not read the series through A Feast for Crows and want to avoid spoilers–

Rachel-

For a long time I really thought that maybe Sansa was … simple. Pretty much up until the comment she makes about Moon Boy at the tourney feast being far too clever in his insults. It was then that I realized that Sansa has no excuse for her willful ignorance. ESPECIALLY because she clings to naiveté like armor through her storyline. She’s the Gweneth Paltrow of Westeros. She’s the type of character that so determinedly tries to make the world fit her desires that as a reader you can’t help but cackle whenever you think about what’s to come for her.

“That’s right Sansa, you deserve what you get! You dumb bitch.”

Perhaps I’m too harsh. Certainly Sansa was raised with a different purpose and style than any of the Stark boys but LOOK AT ARYA. Yes, Arya is younger and a tomboy and pretty much the exact opposite of her sister (Arya tends to see straight through pretentions to the truth, while Sansa alerts the reader to truths by her ridiculous acceptance of whatever is presented to her) but she was raised in exactly the same place with exactly the same expectations and so I’m sorry but I can’t help but hold Sansa up to the same standards as I do any other character.

She doesn’t get a free pass because she’s a girl, or a lady, or a dumb bitch.

I have this theory that Sansa will be the last surviving Stark (this is not MY theory, many hold this theory). It would only make sense. Jon Snow isn’t really a Stark and neither is Sansa and for completely different reasons.

Whenever Sansa tries to be stoic, to be a lady, she’s attempting to be a Stark. Starks do not weep when a stranger dies or at the sight of blood. So at the tourney she channels a backbone because as she tells Littlefinger, “I am Sansa Stark.” When he says she has the Tully look.  But you’re not a Stark Sansa and it’s sad. She wants to be a lady but she’s destined to marry a man and change her name. She wants more than anything to be queen because of the IDEA of it. She is willing to overlook all the things her family seems to value that Joffrey lacks, like honor, kindness, responsibility. For what? For some stories? Are you kidding me?

Sansa isn’t a 3 year old. She’s almost old enough to wed and do what her mother did, go far from home and assimilate into another family. Maybe she’d be really good at it? But for now all that makes Sansa is a tool. Like all women in medieval times she’s a commodity and what is perverse to my modern mind is that she embraces it. Her worth depends upon everyone else’s opinion. If Ned had told her she was to be wed to Renly or Thoros of Myr than she would idolize them and not Joffrey.

I’m still waiting for Sansa to truly change. She’s a survivor sure, and being so dumb has kept her alive when her enemies would have preferred to kill a clever Stark (ha..). She’s useful because of her inheritance but Theon Greyjoy proves you don’t need the bare semblance of legitimacy to claim something you want. You can just take it. So Sansa was really just too stupid and pathetic to kill. Even Tyrion pitied her. The Dog pitied her.

When fuck-ups and dwarves pity you in this story… there’s a problem.

I also love the subtle foreshadowing of this tourney in which the names of those Knights DO mean something to me. Those are names to shudder at. From where I’m standing it’s Sandor who seems the most Knightly because he tells the truth! He struggles to not be like his brother. That doesn’t mean he struggles to be good or just. Let’s not give him too much credit. He does say to Arya later on that he should have raped Sansa instead of helping her. But it’s hard to not LOVE this fucked up little back and forth between the pretty little bird and the Hound. He saves her from the mob, she cries at his sad sad story… they’re practically Bella and Edward.

But I’d like to directly address Elena’s assertion that Sansa doesn’t feel. I disagree. I think Sansa feels a lot. She’s just very wrapped up in meeting expectations of who she SHOULD be that she doesn’t really know who she IS. So she has to be like the ladies in the stories because the only other role model she’s got is her mother, who isn’t around. I’ll bet you 6 million dragons that Sansa wouldn’t be such a bitch to everyone if Catelyn was around. She’s one of those people who masks insecurity with arrogance.

If Catelyn stood around disapproving of Joffrey’s behavior or even commenting on it, I’ll bet Sansa would change her tune. But Catelyn isn’t there and Ned barely talks to her so she has to go by the book and the book says she’s supposed to marry Joffrey and be his Queen and Joffrey won’t love her unless she’s perfect, so go be perfect.

That’s why I love the Hound. He breaks that shit UP! His Harvey Dent costume breaks Sansa’s pretend backbone and gets her to actually CRY! I believe that is real. She’s not crying for herself. She’s crying for him. She pities him. He pities her back because she’s so naive but the fact that such a perfect little doll pities HIM just really worms into his brain doesn’t it? He hates himself all the more for that. Poor Sandor… he really needs some acceptance doesn’t he?

Because this is a book and perfect things can happen we get to see Sandor and Arya (Sansa’s opposite) interact. She never pities him in the same way that Sansa does. Arya hates him because she sees him for what he is but Sansa sees what he could have been and cries for that loss. Maybe Sandor could have been one of those beautiful shining knights instead of a dog. He beats his brother, so he probably would have made a damn fine knight. There’s grudging camaraderie there, maybe the inklings of respect but Sansa is teetering on the edge of that clichéd perfect/rich/prettygirl that helps the damaged/ugly/poor brawler guy remember how to be a person again.

But of course that’s a STORY and not what happens at all. Sansa marries a dwarf who doesn’t rape her, which is nice, and then ends up having to endure insane relatives and would-be raper musicians and almost pedophilic but most definitely projecting creepster “Uncles”.  Ahh right because this is Westeros and what’s a story without creepy sexual scheming?

Let’s talk about Littlefinger.

I don’t believe for a second that Petyr is trying to win back Catelyn or recreate what he had with her. Not for a second. He never HAD anything with Catelyn. He had to settle for gross ol’ Lysa and only when he couldn’t stop himself. This is a revenge game. Petyr wants to do the rejecting; HE wants to be the one that says you aren’t good enough. Yea.. he might have the hots for Sansa because isn’t she just his type? But that whole plan is to take and then throw away. Just you wait! I hope Sansa is smart enough to see through Petyr’s lies.. if she can that means she is growing as a character. If she can’t, than Sansa is another Lysa in the making. Or at least another Catelyn. Either are unacceptable. Can you unsee a murder Sansa? You’ve done it before but you must resist! I fear for her because it took a LONG time for her to finally give in and hate Joffrey like a normal human being. Sansa is a perpetual battered woman. Some day you have to realize that the only person you can depend upon is yourself and then you pack your shit and get the hell out of Dodge.

Sansa… in the wilds.

That will so not happen. I hope it does though, and I hope Nymeria eats her.

Elena Nola is the imperial editrix for the BSC empire. She likes genre books, weird movies, and obscure references. She lives in New Orleans, where almost every day is good enough for good times.  Contrary to dogma, Rachel Parker is the mind-killer. She is a nerd, writer, and art historian living in Brooklyn, NY. You can read more of her posts at scienceofdiscontent.blogspot.com, or follow @DarthRachel on twitter

37 Replies to “Playin’ with Ice and Fire: A Game of Thoughts | Sansa Chapter 29”

  1. @Elena I think you both over play Sansa’s stupidity (relative to her age). I’m pretty sure I had just as many stupid ideas when I was 11 and you can just assume I was stupid but I wasn’t considered so. I’m not claiming she’s a genius either I just think she’s a realistic character.

    I think the theory about Sansa surviving kind of makes sense because it sounds like something George RR Martin would do (although ideally I hope things don’t feel so formulaic by the end).

    I don’t know if Petyr taking on Sansa is about revenge. I can’t completely see his motives but I think for one thing she amuses him and for another he seems legitimately interested in raising/grooming her to be politically skilled. This may just be the pure arrogant pleasure of teaching someone something you know a lot about (the same pleasure that teachers and parents get raising their kids). (This plot line might be more in George RR Martin’s interest in terms of what he wants to do with Sansa but I think it’s realistic for Petyr to have some average human motivations).

    1. i accidentally read the first part of this till i realized it had spoilers – i want to point out that never once do i call sansa stupid. i call her young, and innocent, and willfully blind to the world, but not stupid. there is a difference. i didn’t put it in, bc it wasn’t relating to the main points i was making and my post was long enough, but next to the king’s fool bit i wrote in the margin “clearly she’s not a moron.” just wanted to be clear. 🙂

  2. @ Elena I think you’re overstating a little bit Sansa being a product of her her parents and the septa. I think her social environment is larger than that and kids don’t conform to their parents wishes all the time or there wouldn’t be so much scolding in general.

    1. well, that’s true. but i think if we contrast sansa to her sister, we have to see that if sansa is built by following the rules her mother/septa set and arya is built by ignoring them, then some blame for her ignorance must be placed on the shoulders of her teachers who asked her to trust them to teach her what she needed…and who clearly failed her. again my point: why was bran sent to see an execution but future lady sansa stark ANYOTHERHIGHLORD not?

      1. Oh woops I’m sorry I got you 2 mixed up. Rachel is the one who’s read farther into the series and used the word “stupid” in reference to Sansa (although she might have been doing it visa vi another character). My bad!

  3. @Rachel the “@Elena” comment directly above this one is actually directed at you (woops)

  4. @ Rachael On Littlefinger

    SPOILERS

    I disagree. Littlefinger was never rejected by Catelyn. She gave him (in his mind) her maidenhead. Catelyn was taken from him. Taken by the Tully’s who didn’t think he was good enough. Taken by the Starks who thought they were better then he was.

    Now Littlefinger wants to take it back.

    I agree that it’s about revenge (I think Littlefinger is one of the most spiteful characters in the series, including Cersi.) But I do not think it’s about rejecting. Littlefinger does not reject. He takes everything he can get.

    Then he takes revenge on Hoster Tully, by taking his granddaughter. He takes revenge on Ned (Brandon) Stark by taking his daughter (Niece). He spits on everyone who thought his blood line wasn’t pure enough.

    REALLY BIG SPOILERS.

    I also point out that he attacks everyone who tries to take Sansa from him. He killed Jeoffry who wanted Sansa and tormented her. He ruined and tried to kill Tyrion who did marry her.

    1. @megaduck

      **spoilers***

      Well… no he didn’t take Catelyn’s virginity, he took Lysa’s, he only THOUGHT it was Cat or probably just thought what the hell. poor Petyr.

      Cat is at the center of all the events in his younger life that proved to him that he had no power or influence. His adult life centers around gathering as much power and influence he can using the skills that work for a man like him. He’s a schemer not a fighter. So … as to his murder of Jon Arryn and Joffrey – they were basically in his way. Jon Arryn was snooping around and possibly gathering enough information to become a problem and the Tyrell’s presented an opportunity. Motivation? Joffrey was hard to control. Yea, he took Sansa from the Tyrell’s but he wants to use her to gain the North. With Harrenhal and a regency in the Vale he’s def gathering seats of power all over the place.

      1. @Rachel

        **Spoiler**

        My response was to this quote.

        “Petyr wants to do the rejecting; HE wants to be the one that says you aren’t good enough. … But that whole plan is to take and then throw away.”

        My point was the virginity thing is that in his mind he doesn’t have a reason to be angry with Catelyn and by proxy Sansa so I don’t think he’s just going to throw her away.

        I agree that Cat is the center of his younger life but I also think that Littlefinger has been entirely selfish from the get go. He doesn’t see people as people, he sees them as objects this includes Cat. I don’t think the loss of Cat is what showed him that he lacked power or influence, I think he knew that. (Part of why I think he wanted Cat is because she was a status symbol, what she felt really didn’t come into it.) The loss to Brandon just showed he couldn’t get what he wanted by force of arms.

        He lost possession of Cat before and is trying to replace that loss by now possessing Sansa. (And you may take possessing any way you like.)

        Now, I agree with you that Littlefinger is also pragmatic and wouldn’t act against his own self interest no matter what he felt but reading the story I felt there was a little extra bit of cruelty involved when he dealt with people who ‘took’ Sansa from him.

        I would say that Sansa is in less danger from Littlefinger then other people are. That’s not saying much however as he’s already demonstrated he’ll kill at the drop of a hat and then drop the hat himself.

        1. @Megaduck

          I agree with you wholeheartedly that Petyr doesn’t see people as “people” but merely tools or hindrances.

          If you think about it, Petyr isn’t that different from Theon Greyjoy. He had to grow up in a place he had no claim to, treated as second class. For Petyr it’s almost worse because the Fingers is even more of a craphole than the Iron Islands are. Yayyy thanks for raising me in relative comfort and beauty and yet by virtue of my very existence I am denied all the good stuff.

          Petyr just wants the good stuff.

  5. If you keep watching the HBO show, I feel like that will defeat a good deal of the point of the newbie POV. I mean, the nuances and the writing itself will all still be new to Elena, but the story won’t be, as much as you try to “forget” what happens in between.

    It won’t really be a newbie’s perspective anymore if you know what happens, and I personally might stop following this little blog adventure. Wish you well though!

  6. It really ruins the point of having a “Newbie” pov if you were to watch the HBO show. I really enjoyed following this (re)read but there´s no point in having your perspective on things if you already know the story.

    Like the person above I´ll most likely not bother with this anymore considering the main appeal of it is gone.

    1. y’all’s prerogative, of course, but i suspect if i didn’t acknowledge that i’m watching the show you wouldn’t notice the difference in how i approach the chapters so in that case…the loss is yours not mine. 🙂 also considering how much i’ve struggled with this story, the show has actually hooked me a lot better than the first 30 chapters have.

      1. What a snarky way to respond to a legitimate complaint that you will be mis-representing your ‘newbie’ status if you continue to watch the story unfold.

        If you are that sure that knowing things ahead of time won’t effect how you approach the chapters what is the point of asking for ‘Spoilers’ tags in the comment section at all?

  7. @Elena,

    This is perhaps my favorite chapter since it shows a glimpse of The Hound as something more than just a mean, bloodthirsty brute. His story, as he told it to Sansa, got the wheels in my head turning at great speeds, and that wasn’t something I’d expected, or even wanted after the incident with Mycah and Lady.

    But George is crafty! He lulls us a bit by showing the pageantry of a medieval fair through the fairy dust tinted eyes of Sansa, and I admit I was actually going along with it for a bit at the feast. I’ve always wanted to be a princess, after all! I do agree that her detachment at the knight’s death was something I couldn’t identify with, but it was also not unexpected in my mind. Somehow, I don’t think anything that doesn’t touch Sansa personally ever affects her. I don’t know why that is, and I’m not sure who’s to blame for it. Disturbingly, I do remember some feelings of detachment myself as a child from specific, traumatic events, such as my mother slicing her thumb so badly that blood spurted on the wall next to her. I was a child, but I still remember this, and I remember staring and…not feeling much. Even now, as a grown woman, I can sometimes feel myself detach from emotionally trying moments at will. I have no idea why, and I can’t always do it, but when I read Sansa doing it, it really didn’t surprise me. it may have something to do with a vivid imagination, I have one as well. I guess you can filter out the bad stuff on some level, as you observed much better than me. I do find her family disloyalty very disturbing, though!

    On Joffery, I think he changed his mind simply because Loras Tyrell stopped and spoke to her directly and gave her a RED rose. I’m sure it meant nothing to Loras, but to Sansa it meant something, and I think Joffery saw that. And I have no problem believing Joffery could become possessive simply because of this. After all, no matter how he feels he has to marry her, that makes her his…thing. Whatever, Joff!

    And then there’s The Hound. Mean spirited, brutish, drunk, and…spontaneously confess-y type?? Hello! You’ve kept this deep, dark secret your whole life and you decided to blurt it out to this little walking fairy doll because…??? Seriously dude, what gives? Hmm, perhaps it’s the way she sparkled at Joffery, and from your pov was all innocence and sweetness like the girls from the songs she loves? It’s weird, but I do think that’s what it was; something about her sweet, silly, naive innocence had some effect on him, and he KNOWS Joffery. I’ve always wondered if he suddenly decided to try and save her by snapping her out of her stupidity. I don’t if he can succeed, though, as he seems to get caught back up in allowing his brother to define his existence…

    @Rachel, SPOILERS!!

    If Cat were there…I don’t know. Sansa is so swept away by Joffery that I’m almost inclined to believe that she would rebel against her mother’s approval. It would pain her, but…it pained her to sneak around her father’s back, yet she did it. I do agree that she doesn’t know who she is, not yet. She’s finally been torn down to the very fragments of her soul, now we must see who she rebuilds herself as. TWOW might tell us…!!

    On The Hound…I’ve often maintained that he loved killing because he saw Gregor in every face he slew, but perhaps that’s an oversimplification? It may be that I, and many of my fellow Hound fans, willfully overlook an inherent meanness. What do you think?

    1. you do make a good point about the way children sometimes do just sit passively observing, basically wondering why they’re NOT traumatized by something.

      RE joffrey – yes, that makes absolute sense, that seeing someone else flirt with his girl, even if he doesn’t want her, makes him need to reassert his possession of her. it is just so sad for sansa that shee needs so little from him to renew her devotion.

      RE the hound – also excellent points. i like your theory that he was trying to save her from herself with respect to joffrey. i really can’t think of a better reason, or really any reason, for him to suddenly get talky. maybe it’s just that she seems so unthreatening? like he knows (1) she has no one to tell and (2) no one would listen to her anyway and (3) she can be cowed into silence with a death threat. but still…it does seem the point was more to show her that the world is not like the songs, at least in terms of the motivations and back-stories of the so-called heroes. but why am i certain it didn’t quite work? lol

      1. oh, lol, I’m also sure it didn’t work! Sansa just seems so invested in her fairy tale. I sometimes fear for her because life doesn’t work like that!

        Hmm, so would we say the Hound is a big softee on the inside? Um, maybe not…

    2. ***Spoilers***

      @duckchick

      yes and double yes on that assessment of Joffrey!

      The Hound – I don’t overlook his “meanness”. He’s a selfish brute but he was basically made that way. If you were abused/tortured and then made to serve as a personal facilitator to a family of schemers I don’t think you’d turn out very nice either.

      Maybe Sansa’s inability to play the game like everyone else the Hound is familiar with was offputting enough (and he was drunk enough) that he felt like scaring her? To make himself feel better by popping her little reality bubble? Then of course he realizes what he’s saying and regrets sharing that much of himself, because in the end it made him vulnerable.

      It’s like Bully-theory!

      1. SPOILERS!! @Rachel,

        Bully-theory, I like it!! I do agree he didn’t have a chance when you look at his family. I have this theory that both girls, each at different times and in different ways, may strike him as/force him to remember his little sister. The one Ned remembers hearing that died under mysterious circumstances. It’s a longshot, I know, but once I started putting him together in my head and could see him as more than a brute, well, i kinda went nuts! 😛

  8. Will there be a new Playin’ with Ice and Fire today?

    I’ve really been enjoying your discussion, and to counter the previous commentors, I will not be avoiding your posts whether Elena watches the episodes, reads the wiki, or has dinner with GRRM where she gets him drunk and gets him to tell her his plans for the whole series.

    1. Elena drunk-interviewing GRRM might actually be the best idea that ever came out of the internet.

      1. i second this. CALL ME GEORGE!!!

        we are sadly not going to have one up this week for a variety of reasons most of which can be summed up with various interpretations of “motherfucking bosses.” but we will be back and better than ever next week!

        and also, patrick, thank you for keeping the faith! 🙂

  9. If I’m not mistaken these are every other week now. Not sure if that schedule started already.

    1. Wow, I hope not. If this goes to one chapter every other week it will take 86 more weeks to complete this project, that is 1.65 years. Honestly, at that pace, why bother? Just let Elena read the books on her own.

      1. I know of no plans to go to an every other week schedule (sorry to contradict you Jay).

        Sometimes stuff happens, but we’ll be back at it before you know it!

      2. Not quite following what Elena reading alone has anything to do with anything. Rachel hasn’t been late.

        1. i think he meant jump ship and abandon the outpost. but not to worry, rachel and damon are correct that this is a temporary issue not a permanent reconfiguration.

        2. I have no problem with missing a week here and there, stuff happens. I was just saying that going to an every other week schedule for each chapter would stretch this out to a ridiculous timeframe. Since that is not the case, no worries.

  10. My personal theory about why Sansa is so passive and unresponsive most of the time involves the importance of the direwolves to the Stark children. The wolves don’t just mirror their owners’ behaviour. The owners link to the animals mean they mirror the wolves. The wolves are half of the souls of the children in keeping with them all being wargs.*
    Thus Sansa is operating on half a soul. This cannot be a good thing.

    *I think thats the word used by Martin to describe people with such close relationships to certain animals. Its been a while since I read the books.

  11. “Sansa… in the wilds. … and I hope Nymeria eats her.”

    Man – women are just *mean* to other women 😀

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